2011 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans race car

The Le Mans endurance race is long considered as the oldest and pre-eminent race of its kind in the world. It’s safe to say that the teams that participate in Le Mans aren’t exactly what you’d consider as run-of-the-mill. Only the big boys play here, so they say.

On that note, recent Le Mans history has seen two automakers sit on top of the throne. While one team has long dominated the endurance race for the past decade, one team was able to put a stomp to the other’s run of dominance, claiming the overall championship in 2011.

Sure, Audi reclaimed its throne from Peugeot last year, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from these two teams, it’s that Peugeot won’t go down without taking any swings for the fences.

This year, the French automaker is armed and ready for battle after introducing their 2011 Le Mans racer, the new 908 HDi FAP race car.

While it’s going to have it’s hands full against Audi and their equally new R18 LMP1 racer , the new 908 race car is expected to be the strongest challenger to Audi’s reign of dominance. Whether the latter has the goods to knock off the former from its perch is still anyone’s guess. What we do know is that these two cars will be front and center when the 2011 Le Mans endurance race kicks off in June 11.

Details after the jump

Exterior and Interior

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans race car

The Peugeot 908 is a closed-cockpit car that comes with four identical wheels and a so-called "shark’s fin" engine cover. With it’s odd contours and swooping lines, the new 908 is without a doubt built to run at the world’s most famous endurance race.

Given the new regulations set for the 2011 race, Peugeot decided to modify a few aspects of the new 908, including the increase in size of the contact patch between the tires and the track, which the use of bigger front wheels, all while abiding by the new rules specified for the 2011 race.

Performance

Instead of a V12 turbo-diesel engine that was previously used in previous iterations of the 908 Le Mans race car, the latest incarnation will now be powered by a 3.7-liter V8 HDi FAP turbodiesel engine with a 90-degree angle and an output of 550 horsepower.

Pricing

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans race car

The car is a competition ready Le Mans racer built and developed by Peugeot, which means that it probably wouldn’t be sold in the market anytime soon.

Competition

Over the past five years, only two manufacturers have won the 24 Hour of Le Mans title. The first manufacturer – Audi – is the unquestioned king of recent Le Mans championships, having won four of the past five titles, including three in a row for the Audi R10 TDi from 2006 – 2008. In the span of time, the only brand that knocked Audi out of the top spot was Peugeot – it won the title in 2009 – with the 908 HDi FAP.

This year, the two heavyweight brands are expected to have yet another classic battle on board two completely new vehicles. For Audi, the 2011 Le Mans race will feature the debut of the R18 LMP1 and its 3.7-liter V6 TDI engine mated to a six-speed transmission unit. That drivetrain is pretty much the same as what’s sitting inside the new 908 so if you really think about it, the battle for 2011 Le Mans supremacy between the long-reigning champ and its closest competitor will figure to be one for the ages.

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans race car
LOVE IT
  • Powerful engine
  • Championship pedigree
  • Audi Le Mans slayer
LEAVE IT
  • Not for sale
  • No chance of driving it
  • Fantasy car for the rest of us

5 comments:

I love the powerful engine, and the exterior is really a full-blooded for championship. It’s one of the Audi Le Mans killers.

Tremendous race car, very detailed and proportional. I like how it was build and the color and materials blended well.

Eventhough this is the six transmission period of the decades Peugeot 908 Hdi. It has to maintain its good performance as well as the great capacity to handled fuel efficiency.

Yup, another one of those cars that we can only drool looking at. Too bad that most of us have only city driving skills and won’t be able to handle this one.

Peugeot has really amaze me with this car, at my first glance I thought it was a really stunning F3 but as soon I see the side it give me the chill. Is there a video preview of this car?

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